Posted June 11, 2014 by Jeremy Jastrzab in Feature

E3 2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition Preview

It is from the fondness that followed Baldur’s Gate that allowed Dragon Age: Origins to get its original crack at the gaming market, even though it almost never happened. The traditional dice-roll RPG that started a transition into a modern era from Bioware, the intention was for the title to create a full new franchise to complement Mass Effect. But after the disaster that was Dragon Age II, it again almost fell from the view of the gaming landscape. Thankfully though, from the first showing of Dragon Age: Inquisition at E3 this year, it looks like Bioware are back in control of this franchise.

The focus of the E3 demo was to show the vast scale of the game, and to really give a good look at the action and strategy aspects of the combat. Admittedly, from a half hour demo, it was really difficult to get a full grasp on the story, but it seems that it will span numerous sagas. At the core, it seems that your character survives an explosion that had created a rift between two different realms, bringing a heap of unsightly monsters into your realm. Your ‘inquisition’ are tasked with closing these rifts and taking care of the challenges on the way. Outside of this, we were shown that the game will contain many side-quests as well. Extras such as hunting for bear pelts was cautioned that if you hunt too many of them in a region, they may end up going extinct.


Players will have their choice of gender, 3 races and 4 classes in the game, and the demo was shown off with a male dwarf warrior. The warrior had a good amount of melee attacks, as well as some basic magic. Your team will be amendable to change, allowing you a good balance of ranged, melee and spell casting characters. Further, you’ll be able to switch between each one on the fly, while it was said that the next-gen systems would allow for smarter and more responsive AI when you switch away from them.

While the core combat works off the similar combat engine to Dragon Age II, a key difference is the ability to pause the battle, and zoom out to a strategic perspective. This allowed for players to set their ranged characters to attack from the back, and use more defence orientated characters to block entrances and protect them. The system was very snappy and intuitive, and allowed you to view to action from multiple perspectives, then take back over manually if you change your strategy or for any other given reason.


The demo closed with the best possible demonstration of these systems through a battle with a dragon – purportedly the strongest enemies that you’ll face in the game. It will be crucial for your players to work as a team in order to firstly, take down the legs of the dragon and then lay some punishment while it was down. In this instance however, the dragon had flown off before it was finished. While the challenge will certainly be appreciated, the battle felt like it went on for really long, so hopefully this isn’t a hindrance in the final game.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was being referred to by the development team as ‘the Dragon Age game we wanted to make’ and so far it’s certainly shaping up to not only purge the memories of its most recent predecessor, but to create a compelling and distinctive RPG experience – the likes that only the best of Bioware can produce.

Jeremy Jastrzab

Jeremy is the former executive editor of PALGN, and freelance journalist.


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